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Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich CountriesThirty Countries' Experiences$
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Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687428.001.0001

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There and Back Again, an Inequality’s Tale

(p.514) Chapter 22 Portugal
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries

Carlos Farinha Rodrigues

Isabel Andrade

Oxford University Press

Inequality in Portugal increased between 1989 and 1994, and remained relatively unchanged until the mid-2000s. Then starting in 2005 there was a significant reduction in inequality, mainly due to the successful social policies aimed at reducing poverty and the expansion of the welfare state. The year 2009 was a new turning point: the deep economic crisis and the policies adopted have led to a new increase in inequality, as indicated by the increase in the Gini coefficient in 2010. We find that earnings inequality is one of the main drivers of household inequality, whereas educational attainment plays an important role in its future reduction. Furthermore, the co-existence between high levels of inequality and real income growth, between an improvement in social policies and the reduction of poverty, makes it more difficult to establish a clear causal relationship between inequality and the different dimensions of the Portuguese social, political, and cultural reality.

Keywords:   income inequality, earnings inequality, economic crisis, wealth, Portugal, social impacts, political participation, redistribution, educational attainment

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